I Invented A Treat Wounds System


General Discussion


If a character is missing HP, the Treat Wounds activity can be used to heal them. This usually takes 10 minutes, during which you can treat up to 6 people while rolling once, determining the result for each patient from this roll.

The DC is the number of HP the treated character is missing, maximum - current. Rolling against this, you can get the following results:

Critical Success: You heal the patient by their CON mod (minimum 1) * your level
Success: You heal the patient by their CON mod (minimum 1) * your level, and they gain the "Patched Up" 1 condition (WIP), or increase their Patched Up value by 1
Failure: You heal the patient by their CON mod (minimum 1) * your level, and they gain the "Patched Up" 2 condition, or increase their Patched Up value by 2
Critical Failure: You heal the patient by their CON mod (minimum 1) * half your level, and they gain the "Patched Up" 2 condition, or increase their Patched Up value by 2

Patched Up: When a character with Patched Up is healed with Treat Wounds (and possibly other effects), subtract the Patched Up value from the healer's level when calculating HP recovered. A character cannot benefit from Treat Wounds while their Patched Up value equals or exceeds the level of the healer that is treating them.

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Usage Concerns

Damage taken and skill bonuses do not scale evenly with each other. This is hopefully offset by healer level typically increasing as damage does, but it is not perfectly balanced, or easy to simulate averages with.

Situations where characters take little damage will be easy to brush off with normal or critical successes, while taking severe damage may make critical failure nearly certain. This may come over as a good thing as taking / avoiding damage feels more significant and less "flat", or a bad thing if that curved "average recovery cost" feels swingy / inconsistent etc. and not to your tastes.

This system makes it optimal to heal by other means first, such as magic, then use Treat Wounds last with the lowered missing HP / DC. This could also be good or bad, since most other healing is a limited resource (such as magic), and it leads to some competing incentives to use the resource now for optimal healing or save it because you think you don't need to. I reckon this effect would be a playstyle preference.

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Design Intent

I started with "de-couple the DC from the level of the healer OR patient", drove that through "make higher level / skill healers better than lower level / skill ones", and pit-stopped at "avoid infinite healing" while attempting to bypass "too complicated".

The numeric side probably needs work. I feel the general concept has enough merit to at least share. Does it have any potential merit?


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Artificial 20 wrote:
This system makes it optimal to heal by other means first, such as magic, then use Treat Wounds last with the lowered missing HP / DC. This could also be good or bad, since most other healing is a limited resource (such as magic), and it leads to some competing incentives to use the resource now for optimal healing or save it because you think you don't need to. I reckon this effect would be a playstyle preference.

Then it doesn't solve the problem. The healstick problem is that the only efficient ways to heal in 1e were to be a caster, pretend to be a caster, or use one specific rogue build that optimized the Heal skill. If mundane healing is only useful for topping off after you've already cast all your healing spells, then people will still feel the need to use healsticks and pretend to be casters.


I understand the verisimilitude concerns but I think any reliable out of combat healing solution has to powerful enough to heal a well prepared party up to full consistently. Treat Wounds isn't meant to be a band aid nor should it be. It's a skill based replacement for CLW spam and works well in that regard. As for verisimilitude - well they just need to add a line that healing kits are stocked with mystical healing herbs.

To be fair, my bias remains in favor of quick healing rituals but even so Treat Wounds solves most of the problems with out of combat healing (even more so after the latest update).


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I thought the devs invented a Treat Wounds system?

I can invent one too: Wait 10 minutes and you recover half of your maximum HP. Do it twice and you're fully healed. No fuss, no mess, no rolling.

It's not too far off from the current system, it eliminates the CLW wand spam, and best of all, it doesn't bog down with tracking a mandatory skill and rolling dice each time you use it after every fight.


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DM_Blake wrote:

I thought the devs invented a Treat Wounds system?

I can invent one too: Wait 10 minutes and you recover half of your maximum HP. Do it twice and you're fully healed. No fuss, no mess, no rolling.

It's not too far off from the current system, it eliminates the CLW wand spam, and best of all, it doesn't bog down with tracking a mandatory skill and rolling dice each time you use it after every fight.

I wish my body recovered from near-death wounds in 20 minutes automatically.


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DM_Blake wrote:

I thought the devs invented a Treat Wounds system?

I can invent one too: Wait 10 minutes and you recover half of your maximum HP. Do it twice and you're fully healed. No fuss, no mess, no rolling.

It's not too far off from the current system, it eliminates the CLW wand spam, and best of all, it doesn't bog down with tracking a mandatory skill and rolling dice each time you use it after every fight.

Simple, easy, no moving parts, and I didn't have to look up a table of DCs even once.

1 Star, thumbs down, would not recommend. #NotMyPathfinder

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my quick two coppers and jumping on the making stuff up fun. I like the idea of fixed DCs with expecting fails at low levels and crits at higher levels. Maybe skill feats can increase DC to do more than hp healing.

Heal skill: treat wounds:

Takes 10 minutes for up to 6 creatures

Critical sucess: Target heals half of its max hp.
Gain condition to prevent treat wounds again

Success: target heals one quarter of its max hp.
Gain condition to prevent treat wounds again

Fail: target heals one eighths of its max hp.
Gain condition to prevent treat wounds again

Critical fail: no healing.
Gain condition to prevent treat wounds again

Heal skill: extended care:

Takes 1 hour for up to 6 creatures

Critical success: removes condition gained from treat wounds.
Task completed in half time

Success: removes condition gained from treat wounds

Fail: nothing

Critical fail: condition cannot be removed for 8 hours.

Perhaps other skills can do this as well, like Performance, with a skill feat.


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GeneticDrift wrote:
Gain condition to prevent treat wounds again

Once again, it no longer competes with magic, so the only two effective options are to be a caster or pretend to be one. HP is already an abstraction, so why do people insist on nerfing mundane healing? It's like how people want martials to be able to compete with casters, but oppose attempts to buff them.

Taking 10 minutes is already a way to prevent overuse. Sure, you can sit around for an hour healing, but don't be surprised if the GM sends some wandering monsters your way.


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RazarTuk wrote:
Taking 10 minutes is already a way to prevent overuse. Sure, you can sit around for an hour healing, but don't be surprised if the GM sends some wandering monsters your way.

And then you have to heal from the damage caused by the wandering monster, so you wait long enough and the DM has to send ANOTHER wandering monster.

If you think treat wounds should let a party get back to full before every fight, then just have it do that out of the box. Leaving it wide open to be spammed and then saying "the DM can prevent spam by creating an endless array of totally pointless combats" is not a solution.

Either treat wounds is meant to get you back to full HP, which case it should in a single use, or it's not, in which case it should not. It should not be spammable in either case, since this whole thing started out of a desire to not have spammable downtime healing in CLW wands.


Tridus wrote:
RazarTuk wrote:
Taking 10 minutes is already a way to prevent overuse. Sure, you can sit around for an hour healing, but don't be surprised if the GM sends some wandering monsters your way.

And then you have to heal from the damage caused by the wandering monster, so you wait long enough and the DM has to send ANOTHER wandering monster.

If you think treat wounds should let a party get back to full before every fight, then just have it do that out of the box. Leaving it wide open to be spammed and then saying "the DM can prevent spam by creating an endless array of totally pointless combats" is not a solution.

Either treat wounds is meant to get you back to full HP, which case it should in a single use, or it's not, in which case it should not. It should not be spammable in either case, since this whole thing started out of a desire to not have spammable downtime healing in CLW wands.

Depends on the situation: Most of the time, in my experience, 10 minutes is too long between fights. If you're dealing with any kind of organized group, rather than a bunch of well separated, completely distinct encounters, you want to move fast and keep them from having the chance to sound alarms and get organized.

Imagine the swat team kicking in the doors to building, taking out the guards in the first room, then hanging out there for 10 minutes before checking the next room. :)
Hell, in PF1 I often worry about taking the time to heal with CLW between fights.

Wilderness adventures or big cave systems where everything is spread out - sure. Take a break between fights. Have lunch, whatever.


RazarTuk wrote:
Artificial 20 wrote:
This system makes it optimal to heal by other means first, such as magic, then use Treat Wounds last with the lowered missing HP / DC. This could also be good or bad, since most other healing is a limited resource (such as magic), and it leads to some competing incentives to use the resource now for optimal healing or save it because you think you don't need to. I reckon this effect would be a playstyle preference.
Then it doesn't solve the problem. The healstick problem is that the only efficient ways to heal in 1e were to be a caster, pretend to be a caster, or use one specific rogue build that optimized the Heal skill. If mundane healing is only useful for topping off after you've already cast all your healing spells, then people will still feel the need to use healsticks and pretend to be casters.

I would not say it is "only useful", but is "more useful", when the missing HP is high. It is also under Usage Concerns because I admit it may be problematic, and welcome suggestions for fixes.

The Once and Future Kai wrote:
I understand the verisimilitude concerns but I think any reliable out of combat healing solution has to powerful enough to heal a well prepared party up to full consistently.

I do not have verisimilitude concerns. I did not use the word.

I want out of combat healing, supplied by skill use, to be powerful, useful, and to reward investment.

Regarding your desire for it being "powerful enough to heal a well prepared party up to full consistently", I would ask "how many times?".

There is a game, well known upon release, called Final Fantasy XIII. In this game, after each battle, the party will heal to full. This is not a skill or even an option, it just happens.

P2E could do this, as a direct rule with no extra fuss. I wouldn't make fun of it, but this does not appear to be the direction the developers favour. They seem to want to make "multiple fight HP attrition" a thing.

For healing to be meaningfully tied to a skill, it needs to:
>Interact with some kind of DC
>Meaningfully reward investment in the skill
>Not result in cheap infinite healing (according to the devs, not me)

Static DCs seem unlikely to work. This is because a character investing nothing into healing in any way gains +19 points in it going from level 1 to level 20. This makes it impossible to set a single DC which is not an auto-fail at low levels or auto-success at high levels. For example:

Static Heal Skill DC: 21
Level 1 Bonus: +1 (max roll 21, succeed on a 20)
Level 20 Bonus: +20 (min roll 21, auto-succeed)

Static Heal Skill DC: 22
Level 1 Bonus: +1 (max roll 21, auto-fail)
Level 20 Bonus: +20 (min roll 21, succeed on a 2)

DM_Blake wrote:
I thought the devs invented a Treat Wounds system?

They have.

Perhaps I should instead have written "I Reinvented The Treat Wounds System", to more properly convey my intent.

Thank you to GeneticDrift for engaging with the intent of the thread.

RazarTuk wrote:
GeneticDrift wrote:
Gain condition to prevent treat wounds again

Once again, it no longer competes with magic, so the only two effective options are to be a caster or pretend to be one. HP is already an abstraction, so why do people insist on nerfing mundane healing? It's like how people want martials to be able to compete with casters, but oppose attempts to buff them.

Taking 10 minutes is already a way to prevent overuse. Sure, you can sit around for an hour healing, but don't be surprised if the GM sends some wandering monsters your way.

I very much want martials to be able to compete with casters.

Casters nominally are limited in how much healing they can do in a day, since spells run out. CLW wand use broke this concept, and seems to be getting kicked out by the devs in response.

I like the idea of mundane healing being good, maybe even better than magical healing with investment, but they should both have some kind of per day limit, I believe. That aside, if a skilled non-magical healer gets more healing done in a day than a magic-only healer, that's fine by me. Using feats on skill boosts is more of an investment than opting to prepare some Heal spells that day, so if anything I think it's fair.


While (possibly) made in jest, I believe Cyouni's rule below actually really does get to the point.

There are 2 mindsets: either parties should have the ability to heal back to full without a healer class in the party, or you need a healer class.

As is stated, get rid of all the silliness with the heal skill, and just let players heal up as stated below.

Then, create an optional hard play mode, that does not make use of this rule...or maybe reduces the amount of auto heal to 1/4 to 1/2.

Cyouni wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

I thought the devs invented a Treat Wounds system?

I can invent one too: Wait 10 minutes and you recover half of your maximum HP. Do it twice and you're fully healed. No fuss, no mess, no rolling.

It's not too far off from the current system, it eliminates the CLW wand spam, and best of all, it doesn't bog down with tracking a mandatory skill and rolling dice each time you use it after every fight.

I wish my body recovered from near-death wounds in 20 minutes automatically.


Snowblind, Snarkwyrm wrote:
I wish my body recovered from near-death wounds in 20 minutes automatically.

Concur, that is silly and unrealistic that a body can heal in 20 mins. Everyone knows applying 3 or 4 bandages to a cut heals it instantly and is all that is needed.


Hell, I wish I could just keep going completely normally with near death wounds : No penalties, no distraction, no harder to fight or anything else.

D&D/PF wounds/health has never been anything but silly and unrealistic. And playable, unlike some more realistic systems.


I would go with a rule something like:

Heal Skill:
Treat Wounds can heal up to 10 + (Lvl × DC Category where Easy=1,Medium=2, Hard=3, etc) of HP. Treat wounds can be performed at any level up to Max of the characters level.A critical success doubles HP healed. A critical fail heals 1/2 the total possible HP.
Treat wounds may only be received once per combat or encounter where damage was taken.

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